I Know What Word I’m Nominating For Word of The Year 2008

Can you guess? It’s a word so versatile and exploitable in the heat of a discussion yet so meaningless as a result that it embodies and rejects itself at the same time.

I’ve lost track of how many how ways I’ve seen the word trainwreck used. Not many words can boast having upwards of 10 entirely seperate definitions, having both positive and negative connotations at the same time, being usable as a verb, adjective, noun and adverb and still mean absolutely nothing in the long run. The word itself is it’s very essence, it’s own definition, and that’s why I’m nominating for Word of The Year 2008.

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15 Responses to “I Know What Word I’m Nominating For Word of The Year 2008”


  1. 1 Anonymous September 16, 2008 at 4:09 am

    That’s the English Language for you. Coming from a non-English speaking background, I’ve always had trouble understanding and learning English.

    Bemuses me how some words in English can have so many connotations. Sometimes I think people change the meaning of ‘trainwreck’ to save some face, to be honest with you.

  2. 2 Kaioshin Sama September 16, 2008 at 4:42 am

    You won’t find Trainwreck in the english dictionary. It’s actual non-internet meaning is too specific.

  3. 3 Duo Maxwell September 16, 2008 at 5:20 am

    That’s the internet for ya! 🙂

  4. 4 Myssa Rei September 16, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Aaaaaaaaactually, that’s not quite true. It really depends on the edition of the dictionary you’re referencing. It bears pointing out though that the ‘word’ trainwreck is actually grammatically incorrect; the correct way to spell it is as two words: train and wreck, respectively.

    The literal train wreck is what is — a literal derailment of a locomotive from its tracks with disastrous consequences, possibly including but not limited to property damage and loss of life.

    What people are MORE used to is the metaphorical definition of a train wreck — a disaster that can be forseen, but not avoided. The most famous usage of this metaphor was given by Newt Gingrich to describe the US government’s policies.

    Also, there is a third related metaphorical definition, and that is a condition or event that, while otherwise distasteful, one cannot help but be morbidly fascinated with.

    The latter two definitions are what anime watchers typically use when they describe a show that, while initially interesting, had gotten so bad (relative to the viewer) that by all rights they should have stopped viewing, but couldn’t.

  5. 5 Gideon September 16, 2008 at 11:12 am

    As a proud user of the word ‘trainwreck’, it gladdens me to see this beautiful word up for nomination. Never has a heap of twisted metal been so appreciated on the internet.

    Too bad I don’t know what it exactly means either. I can only give my own personal definition; “Something so horribly bad (plot-wise) that I can’t look away from its awesomeness”. A trainwreck is something defined by my own tastes and so I don’t shy away from using the word “I” in my definition.

    But an image says a thousand words, so I all invite you to visit http://www.glorioustrainwrecks.com/ and behold the picture that site features. The site isn’t mine and they don’t pay me. So have no fear. The reference isn’t shameless advertising. They have also have some stuff on writing or whatever. Never truly explored it. I can’t get past gazing at that picure.

    Trainwreck. I try to use the term consistantly and as long as people keep doing that: I don’t see the problem. Although I sure as hell can understand why there is a problem; no one uses it consistantly!

  6. 6 Gideon September 16, 2008 at 11:13 am

    Second post: apparently I use the third related metaphorical definition 😛

  7. 7 mithfalath September 16, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Trainwreck. Hmm, haven’t used that word for any of those methaporical connotations.

  8. 8 Yuki no Kurogane September 17, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Hmmm, I agree with “trainwreck”, but I think I am nominating “writing”. I know the former is so abstract in its literal and metaphorical meaning (on the internet) that one just can’t help but be amazed by it, but the latter is becoming a bit of a black hole as well. “Writing” seems to have become a bracket term for “something I don’t like about this episode, but I can’t point a finger at” or “I wanted so and so to happen, but because it didn’t, I am gonna come up with something totally erroneous and misinformed”.

    I must confess that I also don’t know everything that is involved in the writing of a script, especially not when it comes to anime, but I certainly know what is “bad writing” and that writing can’t be limited to an episodic scope. The writing encompasses the entire series, from beginning to end. To ditch an episode for “bad writing” is pretty pointless, because an episode is like a stone in the mosaic that represents the entire story and imagine how crazy it’d be to claim that one tiny patch of colour is affecting an entire painting. If you want to ditch the writing, you would have to criticise the anime as a whole and point out its inherent flaws, not the problems you had with just one episode. If the episode is flawed, that is due to the direction, which is a whole new issue altogether.

    But it seems that somehow writing is being associated with just one episode, so that a phrase like, “The writing this episode was bad” has become quite common.

  9. 9 Anonymous September 21, 2008 at 1:11 am

    Epic is Word of the Year.

    And so it will continue and continue throughout the ages. ‘Writing’ or ‘Trainwreck’ as Word of the Year? You best be kidding.

  10. 10 Kaioshin Sama September 21, 2008 at 2:39 am

    Epic was pretty much the word of the year last year. Sure it’s still viable, but I’m for nominating a potential new champion.

  11. 11 Myssa Rei September 22, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Boo, not even a bat of an eye for the observation I made? Incidentally, I’ve found that I’ve been mostly right, and people tend to use the THIRD metaphorical definition (something one perceives as horrible, but can’t draw one’s attention from) more times than not.

    And yes, they’re still spelling it wrong.

  12. 12 Kris September 23, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Now, when you are thinking of “train wreck” are you thinking about the direction Code Geass seems to be heading right now? lol

    I’m worried this series is going to have a rather train wreck ending.
    Mostly for Kallen’s character and how she’s being treated. If they screw up Kallen’s character I will never forgive this series.

    I keep thinking about that Kallen’s VA interview. The first question she’s asked about is the kiss in episode 22. That the director told us that Kallen didn’t realize her feeling for Lelouch until she kissed him. What is the point of telling us through that interview that Kallen realized she was in love only for her to be the odd girl out of all of this? Even more so when pretty much all Kallen did this season was learn about Lelouch and become closer. Even to fall in love with him. Even having those two near kisses. Teasing us with them all the way to episode 22.
    Why would they waste her entire season’s development? It seems sadistic to take her so far to realize she’s in “love” if it’s only just to watch her suffer as she has to fight against Lelouch.

    I can understand where Kallen is coming from. She may be in love with Lelouch, but all she sees him doing is acting like some kind of psycho. She knows the war can’t go on. It’s not like Kallen knew what Schneizel had planned. I’m ticked they are keeping her out of the loop.

    Now in the latest issue of Animedia there are these snippets of conversations with characters. It’s really unsure if these are canon, or made up by the magazine. It’s really an open question, because they did post the argument Cornelia had with Schneizel. The problem arises, because the conversation didn’t go just like it was printed, but it did show basically what was said and this was out before the episode.
    There is another conversation posted in the same magazine between Kallen, Gino, and Anya (Lelouch and Suzaku seem present) that went like this.
    Many are questioning if this can even happen now, but I don’t see why this can’t take place. No one in this conversation is dead. Kallen did finally hear about this “promise” from C.C. I can still see this happening in the last episode. If it does happen it’s interesting that Anya, who’s never really been around Kallen personally, is able to see her emotions for Lelouch in the scene.

    There are also the Gum Card Lines seen here (as well as the magazines that published the conversations)
    These are cards that show certain characters and quotes from each character. Out of these 4 girls only Kallen’s is left. C.C. said her line in the most recent episode.
    Kallen:If you say something like “I love you (or him/her/someone)”, I won’t forgive you.

    I don’t think this will be addressed to Anya, in response to her comment in that conversation. This card Kallen says “ai” for love and not something one will say easily or to someone they don’t know well. Anya says ’suki’ in her line.

    It’s even more infuriating when you watch as it seems EVERYONE else is getting the ones they love. Guilford/Cornelia, Chiba/Toudo, Ougi/Villetta, and even Rivalz/MILLY.
    Now we are probably going to have to watch as Lelouch saves the world two times, but has to die looking like the bad guy. He even seems to be trying to right the wrong he causes Euphy.

  13. 13 Kaioshin Sama September 23, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Sigh….I’m sure Karen’s going to come around at the end. They aren’t going to make her into a Shinn in the end.

  14. 14 Anonymous September 24, 2008 at 5:11 am

    Trainwreck end? I don’t think you can exactly call it a trainwreck end.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they pull off an Utawarerumono end. It’ll make a lot of us rage because it’s overly optimistic, but it’s probably better than a lot of the other options they have. It ties up most loose ends well I think.

  15. 15 Kris September 25, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    @ Kaioshin Sama
    I certainly hope you are right, but it’s the last episode coming and she still doesn’t know what Lelouch i up to. Only thing she heard was something about the promise from C.C. Though Kallen seemed to think it has to do with love. I’m thinking it has more to do with Zero’s Requiem.
    What makes it all irritating is that it isn’t like Kallen knows what they are up to and can’t agree with it. She’s in the dark.
    Then there are the events in episode 22. It was Lelouch that asked for that time with her, broke character, but refused to answer her. If he didn’t care for her why not just lie about something. He’s lying to the face of pretty much everyone else.
    Seems like he’s keeping Kallen away so she doesn’t share the fate he has planned for himself.


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